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Department of Communication and Media Research Science Communication

New publication: Can transparency preserve journalism's trustworthiness?

In a digital world, journalists increasingly integrate user-generated content (UGC) in their coverage. Journalists use coping strategies to dispel the audience’s supposed concerns about the reliability of this new type of sources. Transparency, in particular, is often considered as a means to preserve journalism from accusations of being biased and untrustworthy. Based on semi-structured interviews with German users (N = 26), a new study by Florian Wintterlin, Katherine Engelke (University of Münster) and Valerie Hase (University of Zurich) analyzes recipients’ perceptions of transparency strategies journalists use when integrating UGC. They find that even when they are noticed, transparency efforts barely seem to increase journalistic trustworthiness.

Wintterlin, F., Engelke, K., & Hase, V. (2020). Can transparency preserve journalism's trustworthiness? Recipients' views on transparency about source origin and verification regarding user-generated content in the news. Studies in Communication and Media, 9(2), 218-240. doi:10.5771/2192-4007-2020-2-218 (Link)